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The subject of Moses' Sermon is continued through this chapter. The man of GOD makes use of some of the most persuasive arguments to enforce an observance of the holy precepts he had given to Israel.
Nothing can be more important to consider, both in a legal and in a gospel sense, than what Moses here mentions; that all GOD'S commands are alike to be regarded, and not with a partial attention. The apostle hath settled the vast consequence of this in a single verse, when he says, Whoever keepeth the whole law, but yet offendeth in one point, is guilty of all. James 2:10 .
Sweet precept! Oh! that the blessed Remembrancer of CHRIST JESUS, even GOD the HOLY GHOST, may graciously do this precious office, both in the Writer's and the Reader's heart, and bring continually to our forgetful minds the tokens of divine love, which have been manifested towards us through all our wilderness state!
Reader! search and see whether these marks are in your experience. Are you indeed humbled under a sense of your own need and JESUS' fullness? Hath the LORD caused you to hunger spiritually (for this is the sweet sense of the passage interpreted upon gospel terms) and hath a gracious GOD indeed fed you with that blessed food which neither you, nor your fathers after the flesh, nor any of the sons of Adam, ever knew naturally; even JESUS the living bread, which, as he himself hath explained it, is the real manna which our FATHER, and not Moses, gave his people in the wilderness? And have you been sensibly and fully brought to this conclusion, that the life of the soul is JESUS? See John 6:32 .
Was not this a standing miracle, that the garments of the Israelites should not wear out during forty years? There were no shops for supply in the wilderness. The people brought with them indeed what clothes they had; but these could not have remained, had not GOD so miraculously made them last. Exodus 12:34 . But will not the Reader call to mind, in this place, JESUS' care for his people, when he sent them out without purse, or scrip, or shoes, and they lacked nothing? Luke 22:35 .
Reader! I charge it upon you, as one of the most blessed improvements in our adoption character, that we esteem correction an evidence of fatherly relationship and love; and the want of it as a sign of bastardy. See those Scriptures, Hebrews 12:5-10 ; Revelation 3:19 .
There was a striking contrast to Israel, considered only in a natural sense, between the land of Canaan and the wilderness. But take it in a gospel sense, and how is the description heightened! The law was a shadow of good things to come: And therefore the goodly land, to which JESUS brings his people, is a land not simply of brooks of water, but there is a river proceeding out of the throne of GOD and the LAMB, the streams thereof make glad the city of our GOD. It is watered with the gifts and graces of the SPIRIT. It hath the bread of life, which is JESUS. And it hath all the fruits of JESUS'S righteousness, which the delicious pomegranates and other fruits of Canaan represented. And all the ordinances of the gospel church, like the bowels of the earth, bring forth what is far more precious than gold that perisheth.
I bring the whole of these verses into one point of view for shortness sake, and, because the doctrine of the whole is one and the same; namely, that the LORD'S grace ought never to be made the occasion of ingratitude. But, in a gospel sense, the precept riseth to an infinitely higher strain. Whoever would ascribe to human merit what divine mercy alone hath wrought, is literally robbing GOD. And is not everyone doing this who joins anything to the finished salvation of the LORD JESUS, arising from his own supposed attainments? See Paul's pious and humble resolution, Philippians 3:8-9 .
OH! thou matchless instructor of the LORD'S people; blessed SPIRIT! do thou graciously condescend to keep alive in my soul, by thy divine teaching, the remembrance of myself, and my own poor and low estate by nature, which thou hast taught me; and during the whole of my wilderness state, through which thou art bringing me, give me also to keep in view the infinite fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency of salvation in the LORD my righteousness.
Very gracious hast thou been to me, O LORD! Thou hast indeed humbled me, and proved me, and shown me what was in my heart, and given me in part to see what still remains there of sin and unbelief. Thou hast fed me, as thou didst Israel of old, with the manna of salvation, and with the bread of life. All the chastisements of thy grace have been as the chastisements of a kind and wise father: and thou hast brought me into a fulness of mercies, and the riches of redemption, in CHRIST JESUS.
LORD, keep me by thy grace from all spiritual pride and self-confidence. Never, dearest LORD, never may I be prompted to say, or think, that anything in me hath in the least contributed to the obtaining so great salvation; that neither my might, nor my hand, hath wrought it; but may I be ever ready to ascribe the whole to the sovereignty and freedom of thy grace. Like one of old may the uniform language of my lips correspond to the feelings of my heart, and may his sentiments be mine; not by works of righteousness which I have done, but according to thy mercy, LORD, thou hast saved me, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the HOLY GHOST, shed on me abundantly, through JESUS CHRIST my Savior. And therefore not unto me, O LORD, not unto me, but to thy holy name be all the praise.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14